Following news of a builder who ripped off two clients and was fined over $15,000, a third alleged victim has come forward, stating she lost nearly $10,000 due to requesting repairs for her investment properties.
Louise (who requested her surname be withheld) contacted sister publication My Business after reading the story about Adelaide builder Paul Arneric being found guilty of breaching Australian Consumer Law as well as trading as a builder without having the licence to do so.
In a detailed overview of her dealings with Mr Arneric, Louise said she approached the builder to undertake repair works in the kitchen of one of her two investment properties, given that Mr Arneric had installed that same kitchen back in 2010.
“I wanted the job done by someone who was familiar with the original job,” she told My Business.
According to Louise, Mr Arneric inspected the property at Westbourne Park in Adelaide’s inner south in early October 2017, and quoted her $1,480 for the replacement of 17 kitchen doors and drawers, and an additional $340 in labour to refit all of the new doors.
“Paul promised me the job would be completed in three weeks max,” Louise said.
However, the work was never undertaken, despite Louise making repeated attempts to chase Mr Arneric.
In addition to the money she had already paid to Mr Arneric and a similar, if not higher, amount she will be forced to pay for the works to be completed by another builder, Louise said the delay had meant the property has been forced to sit vacant – losing her $300 in rental income per week.
“[That’s a] total of approximately $9,350 in lost money due to Paul’s delay,” Louise claimed.
“I feel terribly cheated by Paul Arneric. The only reason why I allowed him to take on the job is that I have known him for a long time.
“I now know Paul Arneric is a complete fraud and the time and angst that I’ve been through with the loss of rent and his multiple lies and broken promises have severely affected me financially for the past months.”
Louise said she would soon be lodging a claim with South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services division.
“When Consumer and Business Services receives a complaint relating to a builder, CBS will endeavour to secure redress on behalf of the consumer in the first instance. Where there are allegations of misconduct, or breaches of relevant laws, these will be assessed separately to determine whether enforcement action is warranted,” a spokesperson for the agency said.
“We would encourage any consumers wishing to hire a builder to check the public register at https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/LicenceSearch.php to ensure the builder is licensed to do the job. Anyone with concerns about a builder can also contact CBS directly on 131 882.”
My Business understands no other complaints have been received about Mr Arneric to date, although the agency has logged one other call apart from Louise’s in relation to this case.